Planting alfalfa

Tonight we planted alfalfa. This is a cover crop that has the following benefits:

  1. nitrogen fixer
  2. puts down a long tap root and helps break up the soil
  3. can be mowed and put in the compost for on-farm organic matter
  4. protects soil through the winter; diminishes weed production

We used a Jang Seeder purchased at Mechanical Transplanter Company in Michigan (super nice people). They sold me a number of planting wheels for $20.00 a piece to accommodate different seed sizes. We will probably need more, and this is an extra cost I had not calculated. I’m hoping the extra money this seeder costs (by comparison the popular Earthway seeder  costs about $150) will pay for itself in time savings and seed cost. This was our first time using a seeder and I have to say I’m pretty happy with the results. Sorry for the poor picture quality…forgot the camera.

We used the Y-24 planting wheel to put down 1-3 seeds every 2 inches and we attempted to make rows about 2 inches apart. In the end we only used about 1/2 pound of seeds for 2000 sq. ft. So we are going to seed it again at that same rate to put down about 1/2 lbs per 1000 sq. ft. per Johnny’s Seeds. Nice job of checking the application rate AFTER we had planted.

Jang Seeder
Jang Seeder Model JP-1, 1-Row Hand Seeder

0 thoughts on “Planting alfalfa

  1. greenbeanman says:

    Since you have had a few months of usage of your Jang Clean Seeder what is your overall opinion of it?

    Does it seed accurately so that little thinning of crops will be required?

    Any skips that you can tell of?

    Does the opener do a good job of opening the furrow without trash problems? Would the double disc opener work better than the shoe opener?

    Do you consider it much better than the Earthway?

    Do you wish that you had purchased a different unit such as a push vacuum seeder for even more money or a tool bar unit for lawn tractor or 3pt tractor mount or for your two wheeled tractor? Will you adapt your JP1 to the two wheeled tractor?

    Sorry for so many questions as I just learned of the Clean Seeder today and have never seen one other than video.

    Sincerely, greenbeanman

    • Spink Bickle says:

      Thanks for the comment and questions!

      I have only planted the alfalfa, so my experience with the Jang is limited. But that one time it worked great! I am really looking forward to using it next season and will definitely make some posts about it then. Friends of mine have an Earthway, so I have only seen it and never used it, but I think the fit and finish of the Jang is better.

      For the size farming we are planning on in the next 2 years (sub 2 acres) I think the Jang will fit the bill nicely. Sorry I’m not too much help, but I will comment on our experience more in the future.